Ratings downgrades in Kuwait, Oman add to growing GCC economic concerns

Ratings downgrades in Kuwait, Oman add to growing GCC economic concerns

**Written and disseminated to select contacts on April 1**

Ratings downgrades in Kuwait and Oman, prompted by plunging oil revenues, widening deficits and increased borrowing needs, will make accessing global funding more expensive and difficult, especially for regional economic laggard Oman. Although important, ratings do not always reflect the full picture, nor gauge investor appetite for Gulf risk once market conditions improve.

Rachna Uppal | Senior Analyst | r.uppal@castlereagh.net

Green Morocco: Opportunities in agriculture

Green Morocco: Opportunities in agriculture

Morocco has been very successful at enhancing agricultural processing activities through its Plan Maroc Vert, or Green Morocco Plan. The sector has become more attractive for international investments, but issues related to climate change and land fragmentation remain challenges to faster sector growth

Brazil is open for business

Brazil is open for business

When the divisive Jair Bolsonaro became president of Brazil a year ago, it raised many concerns about the direction his country would take. The domestic and international business community has been relatively united in welcoming him and his strong free-market inclinations, which remain particularly attractive to foreign investors. For Gulf countries, maintaining good trade relations with Brazil is undoubtedly positive – but Bolsonaro caused controversy across the Arab world when, shortly after taking office, he announced a plan to move his country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. It took a visit to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar last October  – and many new trade deals – for the Brazilian leader to begin repairing relations.